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Dunu TITAN 5

  1. DJScope
    Return of the Titan
    Written by DJScope
    Published Dec 13, 2015
    Pros - Smooth sound signature, improves on already great innovative design, replaceable cable, can now be worn cable up and down
    Cons - No mic remote, slight veil with male vocals

    DUNU Titan 5

    "Return of the Titan"
    It’s been a while since I’ve come across another DUNU product. I did have short stints with the DN-1000 and the Alpha 1 but the Titan 5 was my first proper time since the Titan 1. The Titan 1 was one of those really unique products that stood out in the market for a few reasons; not just exceptional sound quality but design and innovation. Since then, DUNU have released 3 new products based on this initial innovative design of the Titan 1: these are the Titan 1es a budget option, and the Titan 3 & 5 which are, from what I would gather, the true successors of the Titan 1. I’ve not heard the 1es or the 3 so cannot comment on their signature, but the Titan 5 really does take this innovative design into a new direction, which to me is a real winner.
    The “Titan” name comes from the use of a Titanium coated dynamic drivers which are touted to have “high power handling, for its exceptional clarity, fast transients, deep reaching bass, sweet and emotional vocals, as well as the delicate and smooth treble extension”. While that those sound very impressive, it’s not too farfetched.
    The Titan 5 has now gotten the “Hi-Res Audio” certification if that means anything to you.

    A little about the Dunu Titan 5

    More info at the Dunu website: http://www.dunu-topsound.com/TITAN5.html
    Frequency response​
    10 - 40 000  Hz
    32 Ohm
    108  dB (±2)
    Gold Plated 3.5mm (1/8”) 90° Angled
    Cable Length​
    1.2m (OFC)
    Speaker diameter​
    13mm Titanium Dynamic Driver
    24 grams


    FR Graph

    Thanks to @Brooko for letting me use his measurements.
    Follow this link to Brooko's uber indepth review


    The box is pretty much EXACTLY the same as the Titan 1, except that it has Titan 5 written on it. It really is very much the same including the accessories. In fact the only new addition is the stabiliser hooks or as I call them “wings”. These are a great addition for those who have fit problems wearing them cable down. I never felt like I needed them, so never used them for the Titans, though have tried then on the Titan 1 just to see how it works with those extra holes; it work brilliantly for those curious.Because the packaging is exactly the same I will quote from my Titan 1 review:
    The Titans come in a medium sized box; dimensions are 13cm x 17cm x 5cm. It’s very well presented. On the front you are shown exactly what you a purchasing. Everything is well contrasted, bright writing on black background: everything stands out very well. You get all the relevant information in different languages. Very nice.
    Under the front flap there is some background information about the Titans, including the frequency response diagram to show you what they’re trying to target and what difference a titanium driver makes compared to a standard driver unit.
    They also included a little plug for a Ukrainian band called “Max Barski”. Quite the coincidence since I was born in Ukraine.
    Behind the little window you’ll see the beautifully designed housings of the Titans. Open the door and you are presented with 3 pairs of what looks like Sony hybrid silicone ear tips and a wonderful protective box. I must say that this is by far the best protective box I’ve seen to date that comes free with an IEM at this price. It’s made of hard plastic and has a sturdy locking mechanism to keep your already heavy duty looking earphone in tip-top shape so you can chuck them in your bag without any worries what so ever.
    Additionally, underneath the plastic holder you get another 6 pairs of ear tips: different colours and styles of more of the Sony hybrid “clone” tips and a set of standard black tips, a shirt clip, and a 3.5mm (1/8”) to 6.3mm (1/4”) gold plated adapter. And of course, you get a warranty card which also has a maintenance log for all your warranty claims.


    The design has been slightly tweaked with the Titan 5. DUNU have dropped the ultra open configuration and have opted to use only 1 port-hole. Many users were complaining about the lack of isolation, and of course this was the obvious fix, and it worked a treat.
    Another change was the inclusion of a removable cable. This is one of the best feature any IEM company can implement that would increase the value of their products dramatically. A removable cable not only means that you can replace it in the unfortunate event of the cable breaking, and I know it happens to even the most expensive IEMs and it’s happened to me plenty of times to know how important it is to have this feature. The cable uses quite a hefty looking jack which houses an MMXC connector. It feels very durable and tactile and the connection is very secure.
    One more complaint that people had with the Titan 1 was the fact that it was only designed to be worn cable down, and wearing it cable up, or over the ear, meant that you were forced to swap the channels around, which was not a huge issue but made me a little OCD thinking about it, so I never did it. With the addition of a removable cable, you are now able to switch the channels around to suit both cable up or down to your preference and listen to the music as you wish till you heart is content.
    It does show a lot about the company when they listen to the criticism and instead of defending their products they set out to fix those issue to come back with something better.
    One more thing that needs a mention is the fact that the earpiece housing is now made of stainless steel making it noticeably heavier, and holding the whole Titan 1 in one hand (earpieces, splitter, cable and jack) and just the earpieces of the Titan 5 in the other feels about twice as heavy. Since it sits very snug and securely in me ears, I don’t find this to be an issue, but it’s something to note.


    It is a shame that the Titan 5 didn’t come with a remote/mic cable. It was one of my main gripes with the Titan 1 and I guess it was not asked for enough to make the cut. Of course, it being a removable cable means that I could just buy an aftermarket cable that has a remote.
    Nonetheless, the cable is an undoubtable upgrade to the Titan 1. Visually, it’s almost exactly the same. It loses the fabric sheaving which I’m not a big fan off. As well as the Y-splitter, neck cinch, and jack are now (anodised?) black with a very nicely machine chamfered on the edges to give it a silver accent. It retains the brilliant strain relieves and their patented cable lock, and more importantly and rubber material. The rubber sheaving of the Titan 5 is probably the best cable material I’ve had the pleasure of holding in my hand. It feels soft and strong, and it does not kink or retains any memory, as well as it’s very supple and doesn’t have any microphonics or mechanical noise at all. Top marks for that! It love this cable so much that I actually have plans for a project to make a MMXC to 2 pin adapter so I can use this cable with other IEMs.


    The isolation is as expected: exceptional. The removal of most of the port holes means that you get much less sound leakage in and out. It’s not the best isolation, average at best, but it is adequate for your daily commute on public transport. It's definitely an improvement.


    The Titan 5 is easier to drive than the Titan 1, which is great if you ask me! I don’t have any problems powering them with my phone and they do scale nicely with more power. They paired exceptionally well with the FiiO X1 and xDuoo X2 & X3, and even better with the Audio-GD NFB-15.32.


    Along with all the other numerous positive changes to the Titan 5, the sound has also been improved for the better in my opinion. The Titan 5 retains the slightly V shaped, fun, yet balanced signature, but with a smoother and slightly more punchy and fun attitude. There are a lot of aspects I like with the way the Titan 5 sounds.


    As much as I loved the Titan 1, I had a little issue with harshness in the lower treble region which made it hard for me to enjoy them for long. Being a CAD drafter professionally means that being mentally fatigued is a very bad thing even if it’s just slightly. The Titan 5 does away with this harshness by smoothing out the lower treble region and pushing the emphasis not on one single region but along the whole treble spectrum, which in effect makes for a more coherent and dynamic delivery of percussion elements and give a much more comfortable listen for almost all genres. Because there are no particular peaks that I can notice in the treble region, it may seem to some that there is somewhat a veil on the detail retrieval. I would say that this is akin to the “Sennheiser veil” as some call it, where the HD650 has actually very good detail retrieval, air and sense of space but it is not portrayed in a forward manner, rather a smooth and laidback way which I really like, and yes I would say that they do sound somewhat like the HD650 from what I remember them.


    The midrange has very nicely filled out and smoothly textured. It sounds particularly good with strong female vocalists. There is a very nice natural timbre but some elements can sound a little washed out. For instance male vocals sometimes seems a little too smooth. This makes male dominated tracks sound less detailed than the rest of the music and it kind of takes away from the harmony of the composition. Nonetheless, most of the time it is not an issue, and I found myself really enjoying listening to even the most flawed recordings as I slaved away at work. The signature is just too smooth not to enjoy.


    The bass is also much improved. It now hits harder and goes deeper with a much meatier note. It’s a little more mid bass orientated as opposed to the Titan 1, and the bass may leak into the lower mids just a tiny fraction, but what it does is put this really slight bloom on the signature that warms it up and adds to the smoothness. I did enjoy it quite a bit. It’s not for bass heads, but a safe bet that most will like this type of bass.

    Soundstage & Imaging

    As mentioned earlier, because there is now only 1 port in each earpiece, this means that the soundstage performance does get somewhat of a hit. It’s smaller and more intimate, but this is not necessarily a bad thing because the imaging performance is still as exceptional as it was if not better. I found myself actually using these over my full sized cans when watching movies and playing games. Playing games in particular was a very enjoyable experience as you still get a good enough sense of positioning, this coupled with the comfort and security in the ear made for some great long gaming sessions.


    This is how I've scored the Titan 5:



    Coming back and rereading my Titan 1 review did bring a lot of nostalgia which made the experience with the Titan 5 all that much more special to me. The Titan 5 really takes the success and innovation of the Titan 1 and makes it better in almost every way. Is the Titan 5 a real successor to the Titan 1? I would say yes with a ‘but’. I think that the Titan 1 is still a very unique and splendid IEM and should be sold alongside the Titan 5 for years to come. I find myself losing myself in the music with the Titan 5 more than what I did with the Titan 1 and this is what gives it the edge above its predecessor, and for that I give the Titan 5 a well deserved 5 stars along it's older brother.
    Great job to DUNU for another great product and I’m very excited to experience you upcoming line-up of hybrid IEMs in 2016.


      Brooko, H20Fidelity, d marc0 and 4 others like this.
    1. Paulus XII
      Great review. Thanks :)
      Paulus XII, Dec 13, 2015
  2. avitron142
    Kept the good of the Titan 1, and upgraded the rest.
    Written by avitron142
    Published Dec 5, 2015
    Pros - Very firm removable cable, Nice bass-oriented sound signature, Fit and comfort, Design (classy), Isolation, Great build quality, NO microphonics.
    Cons - Not meant for the neutral listener, lack of foam/bi-flange tips, non-univeral MMCX connector, clasp-operated case, average isolation.
    Most of you reading this review know of DUNU’s products already, so I’ll keep this short. DUNU has been making IEM’s (in ear monitors – basically in ear headphones) for a while, and their products have been absolutely fantastic every time. While the word “fantastic” and “great” have been overused in many reviews (even when the product is just alright), DUNU separates itself from the rest of the crowd with the sound quality and ease of use of the headphones they provide.
    The last two of DUNU’s headphones I reviewed, the Titan 1 and current flagship DN-2000J, absolutely smashed it out of the park. The DN-2000J, for one, was technically capable of a lot more than the price suggested, and coming in to the review, I really wasn’t expecting that level of sound quality. Coupled with great fit/comfort, good isolation, and nice build quality, the DN-2000J was more than a winner for me.
    The Titan 1 had a much lower price tag, but still surprised me with its usability and its smooth, open sound. Due to the Titan 1’s half-open design, soundstage was much larger than other IEM’s, at the expense of some isolation. However, this proved to me that DUNU was willing to be creative, and try something new. Even in relatively unexplored territory, they still managed to do really well.
    The Titan 1 received a lot of great feedback from reviewers, and its unique shape was a success when it came to fit and comfort. Keeping that in mind, the Titan 3 and Titan 5 are the same exact shape, resting on the central part of your ear instead of inside your ear canal. The Titan 3 and Titan 5 also aimed to improve isolation, which unavoidably wasn’t so great on the Titan 1. The last physical change was the inclusion of removable cables on the Titan 3 and 5, which is new to Dunu IEM’s – while the build quality of their previous headphones were excellent, some people were worried that the cable might break, so Dunu responded by making them removable as well.
    One thing is for certain – Dunu pays a lot of attention at the criticism they receive, and uses it to make the next product better. Although many companies do this to varying degrees, I haven’t seen too many of them really go the extra mile to please their customers – Dunu’s inclusion of removable cables was something I didn’t think I would see (because of the enormous amount of work involved), and the improvement in isolation was great to see too. It’s obvious Dunu is willing to do whatever they can to make it work – and even go out of their comfort zone to get things done.
    The Titan 5’s comes in the same type of box as the Titan 1 and Titan 3. The box itself is of a stealthy black color, which also feels well made. It opens with a magnetic flap, and has more information in both English and Chinese about the Titan 5’s specific attributes. Unlike other headphone boxes, Dunu’s are entirely reusable, and are an efficient way to store your headphones if you wish. On the back, like the Titan 1’s box, it says a few things about the Titan 5’s, as well as the accessories it comes with. Opening up the second flap, we see the Titan 5, some of the ear tips, and the carrying case.
    Dunu hasn’t changed the packaging much, if any at all. However, in my opinion, they don’t need to. The reusable box, build quality, and large amount of information about the Titan 5 on the inside of the first flap, make it a winner for me every time. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? [​IMG]
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    The accessories that come with the Titan 5 are slightly different than those of the Titan 1. Here’s the breakdown:
    Let’s start with the tips. Like the Titan 1, there’s 3 pairs of translucent gray tips (small, medium, and large), and 3 pairs of Sony Hybrid-like tips. Unlike the Titan 1 though, the Titan 5 does not come with tips with a larger nozzle size. Personally, I prefer the regular nozzle size, so to me, this isn’t much of a loss.
    I noted by the Titan 1 that despite the wide arrangements of tips, I would have like either some bi/tri-flanged tips, or a pair of Comply foam ear tips. The only differences I noticed between the two sets was their aesthetics and cap firmness.
    Again, though, for future products, I would love to see bi-flange and tri-flange tips, or foam tips, instead of only silicone eartips. Although some customers have their preferred tips on hand, many don’t, and providing a wider variety of tips would go a long way. Many companies have also started including foam and bi-flanged tips, so soon it may very well become the standard.
    One new accessory I’m very happy about is the set of ear stabilizers – they will come in handy for those who feel that IEM’s always fall out of their ears. However, as I’ll soon say in the fit/comfort section, the fit of the Titan 5 is as good as they come, so I doubt you’ll even need to use them. Great that they’re there though, and definitely a step in the right direction. There’s also the standard shirt clip and 6.35mm headphone jack converter, which was uncluded with the T1 as well.
    The case is the same as the one that comes with the Titan 1 – it’s made of plastic, and small enough to be pocket able. It’s a clasp-operated case, but I usually end up leaning towards zipper cases. Zipper cases seem to last a lot longer in my experiences, and clasp-operated cases have a tendency to pop open, which makes it easy to lose what’s inside if you’re not careful – especially on the bus or train, where movement isn’t as stable.. While DUNU got the size and form factor right, and I applaud them for that, like I said last time, I’d recommend to make it even better in the future by providing a zipper case instead.
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    Build Quality & Design:
    The Titan 5’s housing is constructed from metal, although it seems a little different than metal housing of the Titan 1. They are both very well made, though the Titan 5 is more polished than the Titan 1. One thing I noticed is that the Titan 5 is longer than the T1, probably due to the removable cable. The T5 still stays quite light, although it is heavier than the T1. When worn, the extra weight isn’t noticeable - the only time you would realize the difference is when carrying the T5.
    Another difference between the two is the amount of vents on the inside of the housing. The T1, as you know, has a half-open design, which results in a larger soundstage, among other things. The secret to this was the large number of vents not only on the nozzle, but on the housing as well. The T5 only has one vent on the inner-side of the shell – resulting in a conventional design, increasing soundstage, and decreasing sound leakage by a large amount.
    The T5 has a “5” on the back of the shell – which is the only distinction between the Titan 3 and Titan 5. While the implementation of the number is good, I sort of wish that the number font was a bit less cheesy; the font is similar to those used by Nascar, and I do think that a straight font, un-italicized, would look much better. Again, it’s a preference sort of thing, and I have a feeling most people won’t be too worried about this, so such a small thing shouldn’t be such a big deal.
    Moving on to the connectors, it’s much sturdier than I thought it would be. I spent a nice amount of time with the Westone W40, which costs about four times the price of the T5, and I was always worried about the connector breaking from being loose. With the T5, it doesn’t budge – something I’m extremely happy about. There is also a nice amount of strain relief, which is something that may not be necessary but is well appreciated. For their first time with removable cables, it seems DUNU did a great job on the build quality of this one.
    The T5 sports a MMCX connector, although I’m pretty sure they achieved the connector strength by using a slightly longer connector length. Although I haven’t tried any other cables with it, it might be a pain to find an after-market cable that fits the Titan, due to the non-universal connector on the T5.
    The cable itself is well-made – not springy, but it doesn’t feel cheap either. It feels a little bit stronger than the T1 cable, but the differences are slight and it’s tough to tell which one is actually better. Later on, I’ll briefly discuss the microphonics, and the lack of a woven cable greatly contributes towards the success the T5 has in that category.
    They Y-split is made of metal, and is jet black, unlike the T1’s sliver Y-split. It also appears to be even better made than the one on the T1 – and the T1 already was great in that aspect. There’s a nice stress relief leading up to the split, and overall it seems well done – it really adds to both the design aesthetics and build quality. The T5 has a right-angled 3.5mm jack just like the T1 – the jack is extremely well made, like its predecessor’s, and there is, again, a really good amount of stress relief. The only difference between the jacks on the two models is the color – the T5 sports a more classy black, while the T1’s jack is silver.
    So all in all, the T5 definitely improves on the T1 when it comes to design, and the removable cable is a lovely addition too. I just wish Dunu could have made the connector as a standard MMCX model, so most after-market cables would fit. As it stands though, the connector is extremely solid, much more so than those of other headphones I’ve tried. The design of the T5 is also much classier, with the slight exception of the number font on the back of the shell. The T5 also leaves out the red/blue color-coded bands I liked so much with the T1. Why they left them out, I’m not sure – it gave the T1 a different look that always felt unique. Without them, the earpieces look a little… generic to me. Other than that small caveat, though, it looks really great. Dunu really did a great job here.
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    Fit & Comfort:
    Here in the U.S., we have a saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Dunu clearly went this route – the comfort and fit of the T5 is as great as the T1, which, if you haven’t tried the predecessor, is very, very good. The fit of the Titan series is relaxed, and unobtrusive – only the tip sits in your ear canal, while the rest sits on the outer ear. The fit is more shallow than other IEM’s I’ve tried, which makes long-term listening easy for me, but does have only average isolation as the cost.
    The ear stabilizers provide even better fit for those who feel the fit is too shallow. For those who were wondering, the T5 works well both regularly worn, and over the ear; the stabilizers work both ways. You do have to switch earpieces to achieve the over-the-ear fit though, and some (like me) are a stickler for L/R sounds coming the way they are supposed to. However, it’s a nice option, and it does stay comfortable for me both ways.
    The comfort is also as great as the T1’s. Because of the shallow fit, my ears have a little more “breathing room”, without sound leaking out . The T5 doesn’t have any foam or bi-flange tips, and I hope they can be included in future models. The default tips are quite comfortable though, and I’m happy with them.
    Another step up from the T1 is the microphonics – I cannot hear any noise whatsoever when tapping below the Y-split, and even above the Y-split there is very minimal noise – ranking the T5 as one of the best IEM’s I’ve tried for negligible microphonics. One of my chief complaints of the T1 was the above-average microphonics – the T5 went in the complete opposite direction, making it a great workout or running IEM. With the included shirt clip, there is even less noise. I’ve never had an IEM excel so much in this category.
    So, the sound. The T3 and T5 mainly differ in this respect; the T5 went for a more bass-beefy signature, for those who listen to EDM, Rock, or a variety of other genres that benefit from a good extended bass.
    Before I go any further, I’d like to point out that I’ve listen to both of these amazing IEM’s for about 3 weeks now – for those complaining about reviewers spending too little time with samples before they write on them. I’d like to say that my opinion on the T5’s sound has, in fact, stayed the same over the course of these few weeks, so I’m not sure what “brain burn-in” I was supposed to have. Regardless, I thought I should put it out there.
    Bass is heavier than neutral on the T5. Neutral lovers will probably find it a bit too unbalanced, so it’s important coming into this review that the T5 was not meant for the analytical or classical listeners. The bass is geared to those leaning towards the “basshead” category, although some average Joe like me (who hasn’t had too much basshead training) also appreciates the lower end on bassy songs. Elevated bass, yes, but not enough to take over the rest of the frequency.
    However, I would not call these a balanced IEM in the true sense of the word. The bass does not bleed into the mids, and clarity is surprisingly good for a bass oriented IEM, but balanced these are not. In all honestly though, the fun signature this IEM provides is something I do like on a daily basis with many songs I listen to.
    Mids are nice, vocals sound a bit “compressed” of sorts. If you’re a vocal fanatic, you’re probably reading the wrong review – the T3 is the model that excels with that category. However, for the sound signature, the T5 does pretty well with most vocals. The compression I talked earlier is probably due to the slight U-shaped signature of the T5, but the clarity isn’t as compromised as recessed. The vocals are slightly fatiguing to me, and I wouldn’t use these as my main vocal IEM. Mids other than vocals (piano and guitar, for example) are nice, although also slightly recessed and a bit fatiguing. Guitars get a bit too much help from the lower end, at least more than I’m used to.
    Highs aren’t bright to me actually. Lindsey Stirling’s songs are surprisingly a bit tamer than I expected. I don’t think there is enough “air” in the highs to make it bright. This causes the T5 to lean to a *slightly* darker type of sound, although they aren’t anywhere near enough for me to call it dark in good conscience. Flutes follow the same pattern, neutral except for the slight lack of airiness.
    Because of this, I’m not sure which category to place it in. They aren’t U or V-shaped, as the highs aren’t elevated, but are leaning towards a bassy and slightly darker signature.
    Detail is much better than other bass oriented IEM’s I’ve tried for the mids and highs. The amount of the detail in the bass is also very decent, but it takes a bit of a backseat to the quantity.
    Clarity is really, really good for this type of headphone – if you’re wondering why a bass IEM has such a price tag, know that the quality of the sound is not compromised by the sound signature. The clarity helps a nice amount with that.
    So overall, if you know what sound signature the T5 is going for ahead of buying it, and like the particular said signature, you’re in for a really good bass-oriented IEM that excels with many more genres than it’s geared for. Even classical music and vocals, which I thought it would do horribly with, are very enjoyable, even with the opposite type of sound signature. If you have a preference for songs that have a nice bass amount, the T5 will excel for you. And for when you’re not listening to heavy metal, and decide to listen to Bach and Beethoven, the T5 doesn’t compromise as much as you would think.
    - The inclusion of the stabilizers in the accessories is very welcome. I do wish there were more different types of ear tips though, specifically a pair of foam and bi-flange ones.
    - The connector seems somewhat different than the standard one. I understand this makes it much stronger, and I’m surprised by the stability of the connectors. Really, well done – I can’t emphasize this enough. If you can find a way to do this with the standard MMCX connector, it would be even better – this way, replacing the cable would be relatively painless.
    - I’m not sure why the red/blue bands were removed. I personally like them, and feel without them, the IEM feels a bit generic. I understand Brooko thinks this is a smart move, but I’d have to disagree (?), for over the ear, just keep in mind to switch the colors. If this was done to keep down budget costs, I completely understand, and it’s in no way a deal breaker. No sweat on this one.
    - If you could un-italicize the “5” on the back of the IEM, I think it would look even better, and more official. This is only my opinion though, and just a recommendation.
    - A zipper case, instead of a clasp-operated one, would be fantastic. The ones Brainwavz uses is a great example, and much more useful to me.
    - Maybe an extra cable to be included? This is definitely not necessary, but would be so appreciated by consumers, I can’t help but to add it in.
    “Is the Titan 5 a step up from the T1?” many of you are probably asking. And the answer is yes. Besides for the sturdy removable cable, which already makes it a worthy upgrade, the sound signature, for those looking for that general curve, is among the best I’ve heard, and definitely the best in this price range. The amount of detail is also upped from the T1, due to the closed design, as well as the isolation.
    I do think that at ~$120, the T5 is at a very competitive price point. However, it excels at its sound signature, and is a solid choice for an overall blend of great characteristics. Build Quality? Check, in full force. Fit and Comfort? Absolutely fantastic. Micorphonics? Near to none. The sound? Great with many genres, excels at quite a few.
    So yes, it’s very much worth the money in my opinion. DUNU is great at making sure there are no flaws, and I really have to nitpick before I can complain about the “5” on the back of the headphone – that’s how good they end up being. Most IEM’s you’ll hear of have a tendency to have a “it’s great, but…” - the T5 has no real “but”. End of story.
    So that’s it! The Titan 5 is a really awesome headphone, and I really enjoyed reviewing it. While I didn’t have to buy it, I’m sure those who do won’t be disappointed. Enjoy!
  3. Brooko
    DUNU Titan 5 – Top Sound, Budget Price – Stunning Value
    Written by Brooko
    Published Nov 29, 2015
    Pros - Design, build, sound quality, dynamic signature, value, fit, accessories, female vocal master
    Cons - Isolation due to shallow fit, may be too sharp in top end for treble sensitive people (not a con for me), male vocals slightly on thin side
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images


    My introduction to DUNU Topsound (almost two years ago) was with their triple hybrid DN-1000, which rapidly became a hit with Head-Fi buyers, and was one of the first triple hybrid IEMs to show that top quality could be achieved at an affordable price. Since then DUNU has been a consistent performer, releasing a string of very good IEMs, including the exceptional DN2000J, and extremely well regarded Titan.

    I’ve used this introduction before in my other reviews – and I think it serves as a good reminder of who DUNU is, and where they come from, so please excuse me if I state again …..

    DUNU Topsound was established in 1994 originally as an OEM supplier to other companies. Since then they have developed their own branded line of high quality earphones, and gone from strength to strength (IMO) with each release. They currently have their manufacturing plant in China and head office in Taiwan. They now have more than 100 employees, and market their product range all over the world.

    The name DUNU is simply an acronym of the principle design points that the company strives to implement in their product range

    1. Delicate
    2. Unique
    3. Utmost

    Here is a quote from their website, which really does give an insight into what drives the company:

    “With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide Delicate, Unique & Utmost products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.

    Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years of experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparation are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our Delicate, Unique & Utmost earphone products.”

    DUNU’s full product catalogue can be found at http://www.dunu-topsound.com/product.html - and their products are supplied through their own storefront (globally) on Amazon.

    After the unprecedented success of the Titan T1, DUNU have spent the time listening to customer feedback and improving the new Titan series, and this has culminated in the release of the Titan 1es (budget version), T3 and T5. The review today is of the T5.

    The Titans arrived to me almost six weeks ago, and unfortunately due to my review schedule, I didn’t really get a chance to put them fully through their paces until the last three weeks. In that time though, I have clocked up many hours (at least 60+). Read on to find my thoughts on the Titan T5, and why I think DUNU have yet another winner on their hands.


    I was provided the DUNU Titan T5 as a review unit from DUNU Topsound. I am in no way affiliated with DUNU - and this review is my subjective opinion of the Titan T5.

    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'. (or a base-line for interpreting my thoughts and bias)
    I'm a 48 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (Fiio X5ii, X3ii, LP5 and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – either X5ii/X3ii > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyer T1, Sennheiser HD600, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has been with the Adel U6, Dunu DN-2000J, Jays q-Jays and Alclair Curve2. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880.

    I have extensively tested myself (abx) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively redbook 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 48, my hearing is less than perfect.

    Over the last month I’ve used the T5 out of practically every source I have available – including my iPhone 5S, Fiio X1, X3,ii, X5, X5ii, X7, M3, Luxury & Precision L5 Pro and L&P5. For the purposes of this review however – I’ve used Titan T5 mainly from the X3ii and E17K. In the time I’ve been using the T5, I haven’t noticed any sonic change. And as you’ll read later in the review – although I tried them from various amplifiers – the T5 are perfect for use straight out of the headphone sockets of most DAPs – and that includes the very tiny Fiio M3.

    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.



    The DUNU Titan T5 arrived in the now very familiar DUNU Titan book style retail box – measuring approximately 170mm x 130mm x 50mm retail box. I’ve been impressed with their presentation of their recent IEMs and the T5 is no exception. The immediate thought you get when you see the packaging is “premium”. On the front of the box you get a simple picture of the Titan 5s (complete with an illustration of the detachable cable), and on the rear an explanation of the box contents and main features of the T5. On the sides DUNU lists specifications in six languages. One notable addition to the front of the box now is the “Hi-Res Audio” logo which certifies that a product meets the Hi-Res Audio standards (must have transducer frequency performance to at least 40 kHz). While this means little in practical terms to the listener – it does reinforce that DUNU is serious about standards.

    t501.jpg t502.jpg t503.jpg

    Retail box front cover

    Retail box rear cover

    Retail box profile

    The box opens “book style” to show the IEMs, and on the inside cover gives some more information about build material and the manufacturing process. Opening a second inner cover exposes the carry case, some of the tips, and also the Titans themselves. The actual retail box is extremely well made, and very solid.

    t504.jpg t505.jpg t506.jpg

    Inside covers

    Book stye box fully opened

    All accessories

    The carry case is a very good one for an IEM, and IMO an improvement on their metal boxes (used in the DN-1000 / DN-2000). It is a sturdy moulded plastic rectangular hinged lid box (with nicely rounded pocket-safe corners) measuring approximately 90mm long, 65mm wide and 23mm deep. It has a catch/lock to keep it closed, and has a matt exterior on the rear and sides, and shinier plastic top (personally I’d prefer matt all around – better for both scratches and finger prints). The only thing missing with the case is no internal pockets for spare tips etc – but I’m OK with that considering how pocket friendly and sturdy it is. I really like this case.

    t510.jpg t507.jpg t509.jpg

    Stabilisers, clip, adaptor and case

    The very good carry case

    Tip selection

    The accessory pack includes 2 different varieties of silicone tips (in S,M,L) – including some that look very close to the Sony hybrid type design, a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor, shirt clip, and warranty card. Also to be included with the accessories in future is a set of silicone ear stabilisers.


    (From DUNU’s packaging / website)
    I’ve listed below the T5 specifications, and because I know the three will be compared, I’ve also listed specifications for the original Titan 1 and new Titan 3 as well.

    Titan T5

    Titan T1

    Titan T3
    Single dynamic driver IEM
    Single dynamic driver IEM
    Single dynamic driver IEM
    13mm titanium “nano class”
    13mm titanium “nano class”
    13mm titanium “nano class”
    Frequency Range
    10 Hz – 40 Khz
    10 Hz – 30 Khz
    10 Hz – 40 Khz
    32 ohm
    16 ohm
    16 ohm
    108 dB (+/-2 dB)
    90 dB (+/-2 dB)
    110 dB (+/-2 dB)
    3.5mm gold plated, right angled
    3.5mm gold plated, right angled
    3.5mm gold plated, right angled
    1.2m removable
    1.2m fixed
    1.2m, removable
    IEM Shell
    Polished stainless steel
    Polished metal
    Polished stainless steel


    The graphs below are generated by a new measuring system I’m using – the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. I don’t have the calibration 100% correct yet – but the graphs I am getting are relatively close to Innerfidelity’s raw data (on other earphones), and I think are “close enough” to get a reasonable idea of the frequency response for the Titan 5. My aim is still to eventually construct a pre-set compensation curve so that I can get the graphs more consistent with calibrated curves.



    Later in the review, and perhaps of more use, I’ll comparatively graph the T1, T3 and T5.

    What I’m hearing (subjective)

    1. Quick, clean and well extended bass which is in very good balance to the overall signature
    2. Clean coherent mid-range with slight recession in the lower mid-range, and elevation in the vocal presence area (2-3 kHz)
    3. Clean and extended lower treble which falls short of sibilance (for me) yet remains quite bright and has very good clarity.


    The Titan 5, like its older sibling (T1) appears to be extremely well made with a polished stainless outer shell – very reminiscent of an earbud type shape – but with an angled nozzle designed to take an IEM tip and provide some measure of isolation. The circular part of the body is 15mm in diameter, and designed to snugly in your ear with, the rear of the Titan shell against your antihelix, and the front underneath your tragus, with the nozzle angled forward into the ear canal. The nozzles are approximately 50mm long, have a generous lip, and have a pinhole mesh type of opening with 7 holes to allow the sound into your ear.

    t511.jpg t512.jpg t513.jpg

    Polished steel with excellent nozzles (note vent port)

    Front and rear

    Side view

    However, the T5 departs from the T1 in a number of ways. First up, there is just a single vent/port for the dynamic driver compared to the T1’s 11 hole vented underside. Secondly, the body of the T5 is taller than the T1 (approx. 14mm vs 11mm), so protrudes slightly further, and lastly, the T5 has a removable cable system where the T1 cable was fixed. This time there is no red ring or blue ring around the IEM body (I’ll explain why in a second).

    The removable cable on the T5 uses an MMCX connector, and is quite firm, and from my time with them so far, is one of the better MMCX implementations I’ve seen. I’ve been a bit cautious with the MMCX connector system since the issues I had with cut-out on my A83 – but thankfully so far this has not been the case with the T5. One of the differences between the T5’s MMCX connector and the connectors on the Shure series is that the T5 male connector appears to be slightly longer (about 1mm). This does make it more secure – but means that The T5 cable won’t fit the A83, and also common after-market cables won’t fit the T5 (I’ve tried with both the Shure SE series cable and also the standard cable from the new Trinity Atlas). But the good thing is that the T5 cable is beautifully made – supply, with low microphonics, and a firm connection.

    t514.jpg t515.jpg t516.jpg

    Nozzle pattern same as T1

    Replaceable cable with MMCX connection system

    Length of connector slightly longer than standard

    The other great thing about the cable is that for those who prefer cable up (my preference), then you simply swap ear-pieces. And this is why it’s smart for DUNU not to use the coloured bands. You choose an orientation which suits you, and then the actual normal fit of the earphones will let you know which is which (left and right). If you ever lose track of which is which though, there is a small “L” or “R” on each earphone body, and also on the cable connectors.

    So a welcome change from the T1, and the cable is also different in that the cloth covered mesh (below the Y split) is gone and replaced by DUNUs satiny rubber coated finish – both above and below the Y split. The Y-split is the usual DUNU cylindrical metal tube with the top piece sliding off to form a cinch. The plug is a right angled gold plated 3.5mm plug, and is designed to be very friendly for portable devices. No issues with my 5S with fitted case. The cable shows good flexibility, with no signs of kinking, and has excellent strain relief at all the required major points (plug, Y-split and IEM body).

    t517.jpg t518.jpg t527.jpg

    Y split with cinch

    Right angle jack and attached cable tie

    Comparison T1 and T5

    The cable carries DUNU’s usual innovation with the rubber cable tie attached to the cable. When not in use it sits unobtrusively close to the plug (I never notice it). When you’ve finished listening to the Titans, simply carefully coil the cable and use the tie. Simple, elegant, brilliant. I’ve loved this all DUNU’s IEMs.

    t528.jpg t529.jpg t530.jpg

    Comparison T1 and T5

    Comparison T1 and T5

    Comparison T1 and T5

    I cannot fault a single thing with the DUNU build – it just all makes sense, and is executed brilliantly.


    I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. This is often even more of an issue with shallow fitting IEMs – and the Titan 5 is a shallow fitting IEM. But both types of included single silicone large tips fit me perfectly – and I think this is the stabilisers at work (I’ll get to them shortly).

    I also tried Spin-fit (perfect nozzle fitting, but for me no seal), Ostry black or blue (tuning) tips (perfect seal), Spiral Dots (again perfect nozzle fitting, but for me so seal), and comply T200s (perfect fit and seal). But with the T5s I still use Sony Isolation tips for day-to-day use which continually give me best combination of fit, seal, comfort and durability (they are a silicone tip with inner foam). It is a credit to Dunu's design that such a variety of tips fit well without coming off the nozzle

    t524.jpg t525.jpg t523.jpg

    Spin-fits and Comply T200

    Ostry tips and Spiral Dots

    My preferred Sony Isolation Tips

    One of the things DUNU are now including with the Titan series are some ear stabilisers – which are a soft silicon fin which fits over the body of the Titan, with the fin pointing upward, and allowing it to be locked under your antihelix. They work brilliantly, are very comfortable, and effectively lock the T5 in place, and work with both orientations (cable up or down). I can do strenuous exercise with the stabilisers in place, and the Titans never come loose (the same fins work with the T1 and T3). My only critique of the stabilisers is that because they are so soft, almost every time I take the T5 out of my ear, the stabilisers come off the shiny body. It isn’t a big issue, as they are easy to get back on, but a more rigid “harness” with a softer fin would alleviate the issue (I don’t know if this is possible – but worth mentioning).

    t522.jpg t531.jpg t532.jpg

    Stabilisers fit

    My son Mathew with cable down

    And again with cable up

    Worn both over ear or straight down, they aren’t quite flush, protruding maybe a millimetre or two at most, but are still quite comfortable to lie down with – I have no problems sleeping with them intact. YMMV depending on your outer ear size.

    Isolation is average to below average for external noise coming in, and I wouldn’t use these in a high noise environment. They do well enough to isolate with music playing – but are not high isolators. Where the improvement is over the Titan T1 though is in their passive attenuation of sound coming from them. They are now a lot more isolating, and I’d have no issues wearing these in a library at moderate volume (I couldn’t say the same about the T1).
    So great fit, very comfortable, reasonable isolation – how do they sound?


    The following is what I hear from the DUNU Titan T5. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my Fiio X3ii as source, no EQ, and Sony Isolation silicone tips with the cable worn up. For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X5 was around 40/120 (C weighted) which was giving me around an average SPL around 75 dB and peaks at around 80-82dB.


    Driver matching was excellent – as can be seen from the graph.

    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

    Initial Thoughts
    When I received the T3 and T5 from DUNU, I listened to both for about half an hour (T3 first and T5 second) and my initial reaction was that the while both sounded beautifully clear, the T5 was a bit bassy / v-shaped. But as time went on (past the first week), I found myself listening to the T3 less, and concentrating more and more on the T5. While I still think the T3 is a very good IEM – the T5 is the far superior one IMO, and I’m so pleased now that I didn’t try and write the review within a week of getting them (simply because my thoughts have changed so much in the last month). I sometimes think that the curse of the modern reviewer is that we try to push too many reviews out in too short a time-span, and we don’t allow enough time for the signature to be properly understood.

    Thoughts on General Signature
    If I was to now describe the signature in a few words/phrases – I’d choose the word balanced, with an upper mid-range emphasis, beautifully clear, and an intimate rather than spacious vocal presentation.
    The Titan 5 in a short time has become one of my favourite IEMs, and reminds me a little of Trinity’s Delta, but with less quantity (yet more articulate and faster) bass, and a little brighter / clearer top end. But it is closer and more akin to the signature of the DUNU DN2000J (you’ll see why in the comparisons).

    The T5 has really impactful, but also quick and well textured bass that is never too boomy, but extends really well, and is only there when called for (does not dominate). The mid-range is the type of mid-range I absolutely love – maybe a little thin (comparatively) on lower mids, but has a peak in the 2-3 kHz (vocal presence area) and again at around 6 kHz – which falls mainly short of sibilance for me (related to listening volume) but lends a sweetness to female vocals which I absolutely adore.

    Overall Detail / Clarity
    Tracks used: “Gaucho”, “Sultans of Swing”

    The clarity is stunning on both tracks, but more than that, the balance is also really good. Bass guitar is present and supplies a good constant backdrop without overpowering. Vocals are up front, but mesh nicely with piano, guitar, and brass. Finer details are excellent – easy to discern, but not spot-lit. Cymbals in particular are brilliant because I can hear the decay, and it’s not splashy or overdone. Knopflers vocals in Sultans don’t sound weak, and guitar has good edge or crunch. The micro detail is really good. I could listen to this presentation for hours.

    Sound-stage & Imaging
    Tracks used: “Tundra”, “Dante’s Prayer”, “Let it Rain”

    Amber Rubarth’s binaural track was up first, and the imaging is amazingly good and very precise. Stage is definitely not overly expansive, and more intimate than wide or deep – but it doesn’t feel under-done or constricted. Overall stage is perhaps right at the peripheral edge of my head space.

    Next was “Dante’s Prayer” and although I’ve known for a while now how good these are, it wasn’t until I started critically listening that I realised how good. The first thing to hit was how good the piano sounded (full and natural), and then the cello hit and the goosebumps started. To cap it off Loreena started singing and the captivation was complete. Again imaging is the strength here (pin-point), and the size of stage is intimate, but still well-articulated (very good separation and sense of individual instruments). One of the reasons I use this track is for a particular point at the end of the performance when the last note dies, and the applause starts. With my HD600s, I’m in the crowd, and this has also happened occasionally with IEMs. With the T5 I’m in the crowd - jazz club rather than the arena it’s actually recorded in – but immersive, and that is what I treasure more.

    I finished with Amanda Marshall’s “Let It Rain” for two reasons – it has been miked to give a holographic feel (and the T5 renders this perfectly), and it’s a good track to test sibilance (I know it is in the recording). At my listening levels, the sibilance is pretty much unnoticeable – but with increased volume it starts to rear its head. So if you are a high volume listener, then it is something to take note of (although an EQ cut at 6kHz should clean it up).

    Bass Quality and Quantity
    Tracks used: “Bleeding Muddy Waters”, “Royals”

    Mark Lanegan’s track is first up. This blues rock track is quite dark and brooding – but is a good test of bass bleed and also male vocals. The T5’s bass is just effortless with this track – good impact without being over emphasised – and no sign of bleed. Mark’s vocals are perhaps a little on the thin side, and I guess this is the trade-off with having such a good upper mid-range. For all that though, I can still hear the “gravel” in Mark’s voice and the track remains really enjoyable.

    “Royals” is my sub-bass impact test – and the T5 again was just wonderful – enough low rumble to show the impressive extension, but again the balance is impressive, and it is the quality and speed of the bass which is really impressing me. Ella’s vocals are sweet and crystal clear, and mesh brilliantly with the energy and impact of the low bass. Really impressive.

    Female Vocals
    Tracks used: “Aventine”, “Strong”, “For You”, “The Bad In Each Other”, “Howl”, “Safer”, “Light as a Feather”

    By now you already know what I’m going to say here, so I’ll shorten it a bit. In a word “euphonic”, and for my tastes, perfect. Aventine was first up, and Agnes Obel can be slightly strident if the vocal mix is a little out. The way the T5 presents this track is as good as I’ve heard it. The cello is deep, rich and captivating, and in contrast with her vocals, you have a combination I could listen to for hours.

    I’m also aware that the T5’s upper mid-range is quite forward which has in the past brought fatigue to me with earphones like Shure’s SE535, but this is definitely not fatiguing (even after some hours).

    Next was London Grammar, and again Hannah’s vocals were haunting in their presentation – this is as close to perfection with female vocals as I’ve heard.

    And this was the repeated theme with every female vocalist I tried. Standouts for dynamics were Feist and FaTM – the combination of bass impact and vocal “beauty” (I honestly can’t describe it another way) were breath-taking. But even slower tracks like Cilmi’s “Safer” or anything by Norah were equally as captivating. I should stop now because I know I’m gushing – but for me they really are that good.

    Male Vocals
    Tracks used: “Away From the Sun”, “Art for Art’s Sake”, “Broken Wings”, “Diary of Jayne”, “Hotel California”, “Keith Don’t Go”, “EWBTCIAST”

    The continued theme here was good bass impact, clear vocals, and nicely balanced guitars and other instruments. And for the most part the T5 delivered Rock brilliantly – but …….

    Male vocals are definitely a little thinner, and this is the cost of having such a perfect mid-range for female vocalists. What I like with the T5 is the dynamic contrast and clarity – especially with the overall impact from drums, mid-range bite of guitar, and upper detail from cymbals. It makes for a great listen. But Todd’s voice (3 Doors Down) definitely doesn’t have the same depth as when listening to it on my U6. It still sounds very good – but there is a difference and it should be noted.

    Older classic rock (10CC, Eagles, Nils Lofgren) was also very listenable and one of the strengths of the T5 is presentation of guitar – especially acoustic. Saying that though, faster music is definitely no issue for the T5, and even Breaking Benjamin’s ‘wall of sound’ with “Diary of Jayne” came nowhere near overwhelming the T5’s drivers.

    My litmus test is always Pearl Jam – if Vedder sounds good to me, then they’ve passed my personal test. And the presentation is really good – the emotion and timbre is captured nicely. I’d still like just a little more depth, but I’m not willing to trade that for the default female vocalist presentation, and I can always EQ slightly anyway.

    So brilliant for female vocals, but just a little thin for male vocals (still enjoyable though) – what about specific genres?

    Genre Specific Notes
    Again for tracks, albums, artists – please refer to this list: http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks

    Alt Rock – Really good for both Pink Floyd and Porcupine Tree, and the slightly higher pitch of Wilson’s vocals really suited the T5 well. What I like is the level of detail they are delivering, and this is really apparent with Pink Floyd’s “Money” – too often the detail on this track can be lost, especially with too much bass. The overall balance is what really makes the T5 shine.

    Jazz / Blues / Bluegrass – If you haven’t checked out Portico Quartet, you should. They play a fusion of jazz and electronic, and their track “Ruins” is usually a first stop for me when genre testing a new IEM. The T5 is wonderful with this track – a perfect mix of double-bass, sax, and cymbals. Sometimes I’d like a little more space in the presentation, but for low volume listening, there aren’t too many better. Key attributes once again are clarity, contrast, and a sense of dynamism. Bonamassa was another one to shine with the T5 – it renders guitar brilliantly, and does a pretty good job with Joe’s almost husky vocals too.

    Hip-hop / EDM / Trance – This is where the T5 shows some additional strength, and the bass (which most of the time is perfectly balanced) suddenly shows some extra depth and impact. It is still articulate, quick, and textured – but now there is a visceral quality with it. Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” is crystal clear, but still portrays the sort of impact that should make most bass-heads happy. Likewise Little Dragon and also Lindsay Stirling show similar qualities, and it’s amazing how the T5 can be so well balanced for one track – and then when extra bass is called for in the track, it just stands and delivers. I really enjoyed a bit of Trance with AVB, and especially when it was coupled with female vocals.

    Indie – I’ve been listening to a lot of Indie music lately – Band of Horses, Wildlight, Yesper (my collections seems to be growing at an alarming rate actually) – and the T5 (like the T1s) are IMO an Indie lover’s dream – or at least this Indie lover’s preferred sound anyway. Wildlight especially (Dawn To Flight) was incredible.

    Classical / Opera – Strings were wonderful, and I was enjoying Mutter’s rendition of Vivaldi’s 4 Seasons so much I actually ended up listening to the entire recording. Kempffs rendition of Moonlight Sonata was very good, but didn’t quite convey the overall timbre as well as I’ve heard. Netrebko and Garanca rendition of Lakme’s Flower Duet was a standout, but once again Pavarotti (while good) wasn’t quite there.


    The Titan T5 is easily driven out of a smartphone or DAP, and although on my iPhone 5S I’m sitting around 45%, and in the 40-50/120 range on the Fiio, there is still plenty of headroom left, and the T5 never feels as though it is lacking.


    I also volume matched and compared X3ii vs X3ii + E17K, and there was no discernible audible difference in dynamic presentation – so I think it is pretty safe to say that extra amping won’t be necessary. Based on the specs alone (32 ohm and 108dB SPL), straight out of the headphone out of most sources should be more than enough. Even Fiio’s new M3 sounds wonderful as a source.


    I wouldn’t be one to change this too much as I love the default sound, but I revisited some of my male vocalists and applied some subtle alterations in the lower mid-range, and reduction in the upper mid-range, and the T5 responded well. With such a clear signature, they are reasonably easy to apply EQ to, and seem to respond well to some tweaking.


    I’ve measured all 3 Titans, and outlined my subjective thoughts on their tuning below. To perform the comparisons, I used a calibrated SPL meter, and matched each with a 1 kHz test tone, and then used a splitter plus volume attenuator so that I could fast switch and know that each was precisely volume matched.

    grapht5vt3vt1.png t535.jpg

    Titan 5 vs Titan 1
    Quite similar sounding with very similar bass presentation. T5 mid-range is a little more forward and this gives the feeling that the T1 has a little more soundstage. Mid-range is also very similar, but the T5 carries overall detail a little further. T5 has more articulation (or apparent detail) with cymbals, and also reaches just a bit lower with sub-bass. Build is similar, but the T5 has better isolation, replaceable cables, and can be worn cable up. My preference T5. The T1 requires comparatively more power, and is approximately 3.5 dB lower in volume is played at the same source level.

    Titan 5 vs Titan 3
    This time the difference is more stark. The T3 is a lot leaner, and also seems more forward in the vocals (this may be because of the lower bass volume). And the biggest change is in the bass, and comparatively the T3 is almost anaemic. It does give the T3 a lot more mid-range emphasis, but unfortunately for my tastes this isn’t a good point. The overall balance just seems to be missing, and when fast switching, the T3 just tends to sound slightly tinny. Build is essentially the same. T3 is easier to drive and at the same source volume, the difference is just a shade under 4dB. My preference is very much the T5, and I’d actually also take the T1 over the T3.

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    Titan 5 vs Trinity Delta (gun-metal filter)
    I chose to compare these two as they are very similarly priced, and are comparable in overall quality. The Delta is harder to drive, and at the same source level is ~ 5.5 dB less than the T5. The Delta has a bigger bass response and sounds richer, and thicker than the T5. The T5 comparatively sounds quicker and cleaner. Both have quite forward vocals, but in this case, the Delta is even more forward than the T5 which sounds almost relaxed comparatively. Both have stellar builds & the main feature difference is the Delta’s filter tuning system vs the T5’s removable cables. Both are wonderful earphones and in this case the Delta is just a little warmer and fuller – but my preference would be slightly favouring the T5’s overall presentation.

    Titan 5 vs DN2000J
    I chose this comparison because although there is a big difference in price, the two sound quite alike. The DN2000J are slightly easier to drive, and at the same source level there is a difference of ~ 3dB. Both have very similar bass delivery both in quantity and speed. The DN2000J has a slightly thicker and richer mid-range, and to me probably has the best overall balance of all the IEMs I’ve listed above. The T5 is slightly brighter and slightly leaner, but the two signatures are closer than contrasting. For anyone wanting to know roughly how the DN2000J sounds, or vice-versa, the T5 is a good indicator. My preference ultimately would be the 2000J for everything except comfort – the T5 is simply a joy to wear.



    The DUNU Titan 5 is an incredibly well designed, well built, and well executed IEM. It is relatively well balanced in frequency range, and has exceptional clarity for its price range. Some may feel that the overall presentation is slightly V shaped, and I can live with the assessment too – but for me there is more overall balance there than colouration. There is definitely an emphasis on the upper mid-range, and this take precedence over the lower mid-range a little. For female vocals it is among the best I have heard, but the downside of this is that male vocals can be a little thin comparatively.

    The addition of the removable cables has been executed well and allows me to wear them in my favoured cable up position.

    The Titan 5 will likely suit:

    1. Fans of a balanced or very slightly V shaped sonic presentation
    2. People who value clarity
    3. Fans of a euphonic presentation of female vocals

    The Titan 5 may not suit anyone who:

    1. Requires very high isolation
    2. Prefers a darker, warmer, smoother presentation, or is treble sensitive
    3. Has a mainly male vocal oriented library, and likes deeper timbre and tone

    At a current RRP of USD 135, the Titan 5 represents incredible value in my opinion, and despite having higher end IEMs including the Adel U6, DN2000J, and q-Jays, I will continue to use these regularly. At this price point they are an easy 5. One of the best IEMs I’ve heard all year.

    A common summary question I ask myself is would I buy these, and would I recommend them to friends or family. The answer is a resounding yes.

    Once again I’d like to thank Vivian at DUNU for giving me this wonderful opportunity to review their Titan range.


    It really is hard to recommend any changes – as I think you have really hit the target with the T5. My only requests would be to perhaps think about releasing an iPhone compliant cable (volume & track controls) as an add-on option, and also to see if the stabiliser bodies could be made just a little firmer.

    1. View previous replies...
    2. Brooko
      Harry - I'll reply by PM
      Brooko, May 15, 2016
    3. FoxxMD
      Awesome review!
      I would like to get either these or the Fiio EX1s but I'm not sure what level of isolation I want. I want them mainly for work in a quiet office and for riding my bike around the city (I want to be aware of my surroundings). The T5 is more attractive sonically and for the replaceable cable, but the T1 seems like a better fit for my environment. Which pair would you suggest? Exactly how different are their levels of isolation? Thanks!
      FoxxMD, Jun 29, 2016
    4. Brooko
      Both are in essence IEMs (they both seal in your ear with tips) - but the T1 simply has more vent holes.  This means it lets a little more ambient in and also a little more out.  The volume both ways will depend on your surrounding, and also the volume level you are listening at.  It's really hard to comment on what will suit you best - because I'd just be guessing really (not knowing the other factors).  If you tend to listen louder, and like a bit more isolation - get the T5.
      Brooko, Jun 30, 2016
  4. nmatheis
    Dunu TITAN 5: TITAN 1's Beefy Big Brother
    Written by nmatheis
    Published Oct 23, 2015
    Pros - Retuned with more more bass. Increased isolation. Attractive design. Above average soundstage.
    Cons - More conventional soundstage. Larger earpiece strain reliefs. Heavier earpieces.

    t T5_Official.jpg

    Dunu's teaser for the forthcoming Titan 5.




    I'm going to let you in on a secret: I never tried the original Dunu TITAN 1. Why? The many excellent reviews were balanced out by reports of weak bass and aggressive highs. These discrepancies made me leery of trying them. But when I saw Fiio sponsor a tour for the EX1 (basically a Fiio-branded TITAN 1 - LINK to review), I signed up. Here was my chance to hear one of the most hyped IEM of 2015. If I didn't like it, no worries. If I did like it, maybe I'd end up buying it. Either way, I'd find out if the hype was deserved. Okay, okay. I'm not talking about the TITAN 5, you say. You're right. This is the convoluted back story into how I stumbled into reviewing the TITAN 5 (T5 from here on out).
    So, to pick up where I left off... 
    With Dunu on my mind, I stumbled on a thread (LINK) announcing Dunu's new hybrids. I'm a previous DN-1000 owner and hybrid believer, so when I saw the announcement I contacted Vivian at Dunu and asked if I could get some review loaners to review and then tour in the US & Canada. Those of you who know me, know I love to tour the gear I get for review. It's a great way to let some of my fellow Head-Fi members try out new gear before they commit to buying it. They can also share their experience with the Head-Fi community. It's been a lot of fun so far. Anyways, Vivian told me that while the new hybrids were still in pre-production mode, she could send me the new T3 and T5 for review. Since I was getting the Fiio EX1 in for review, I thought it would be a lot of fun to get the new T3 & T5 in at the same time and see what I thought of them. So I told Vivian yes, and here we are.
    Here's some information about DUNU from their Brand Story page:
    DUNU: Delicate, Unique & Utmost

    With advanced technology and hi-end equipments, DUNU desires to be able to provide Delicate, Unique & Utmost products for Hi-Fi embracers. Delicate means extremely quality demanding on product process, from every little component to product manufacturing. DUNU has complete production line and equipments, including precise equipments, B&K frequency machine, IMD sputter, CNC machine, anechoic room, etc. Concerning design of product, DUNU also devotes to create unique outer appearance and balance in all sound frequency.
    Utmost is not only the expectation on products, but also the pursuit of an Earphone Manufacturer. The founder of DUNU, himself, has years experience in OEM/ODM earphone products in which many worldwide famous earphone Brands are included. However, in order to create the most enjoyable earphone on his own, DUNU’s president establishes the brand “DUNU” and implants many hi-end equipments and hires talented employees. From then on, DUNU takes the lead in developing the first Chinese made metal earphone, developing 5.8mm Driver unit and produce the very first Chinese Balance Armature Earphone, in 2014 DUNU release China first triple driver Dynamic and Balance Armature Hybrid earphone, All these preparation are to step on the world stage and to challenge renowned earphone brands. The ultimate goal of DUNU is to provide worldwide HI-FI embracers our Delicate, Unique & Utmost earphone products.


    Dunu's Website: LINK.
    Dedicated Dunu TITAN thread: LINK.


    There is no financial incentive from Dunu for writing this review.  I am in no way affiliated with Dunu, and this is my honest opinion of the TITAN 5.  I would like to thank Dunu for giving me a chance to test drive and tour the TITAN 5, and I hope my feedback proves useful for my fellow Head-Fi members as well as for Dunu.


    I'm a 43 year old father who loves music.  While I listen mostly to electronic and metal these days, I do listen to a wide variety of music - from electronic (Autechre, Boards of Canada) to modern/minimalist composition (John Cage, Philip Glass) to alternative rock (Flaming Lips, Radiohead) to jazz (John Coltrane and Miles Davis) to metal (Behemoth, King Diamond) to classic rock (Eagles, Rush).  
    I'm primarily a portable audio enthusiast. My portable music journey started with the venerable Sony Cassette Walkman and then progressed to portable CD players, minidisc recorders (still have my Sharp DR7), and finally on to DAPs like the Rio Karma, iRiver IHP-1xx, iPod 5.5, iPhones, and the newer crop of DAPs from Fiio and iBasso.
    Being a portable audio enthusiast, I typically listen with IEMs but am enjoying listening with full-size headphones more and more and tend to like u-shaped sound signatures, although I break out v-shaped IEM & HP from time to time for fun.
    As with a lot of people my age, I've got some hearing issues.  I've got mild tinnitus and suffer from allergies, which can affect hearing in my right ear.  I'll admit it, I'm not blessed with a pair of golden ears.  That said, I've been listening to portable gear for a long time and feel confident in assessing audio gear - just wanted to be transparent up front.

    1. Driver: 13mm titanium coated dynamic
    2. Frequency Response: 10Hz-40KHz
    3. SPL: 108±2dB
    4. Impedance: 32Ω
    5. Plug: 3.5mm Gold-plated L-plug
    6. Cord Length: 1.2m
    7. Weight: 24g


    I'll let the packaging speak for itself. It's essentially the same as the TITAN 1, so if you've seen that you'll know what to expect.
    Inside (This is a great opportunity for you to exercise your imagination and pretend that this is the T5 box)

    Carry case


    Ear Stablizers

    Not pictured: Shirt clip + 1/8" plug adapter.
    So you get the T5, Heir and Hybrid style tips in S, M, and L, the hard carry case, a shirt clip, and an 1/8" plug adapter. Not bad. I'll say right now that I'm not a fan of Heir style tips. They always seem to slip out of my ear canals. The Hybrid style tips are grippier and stay put in my ears much better, so that's what I gravitated towards. While the hard case works very well with the EX1, the T5's housings are just a bit too big to allow the case to close properly. There were many times where I had to reposition the T5 in order to get the lid to snap shut. I'd suggest Dunu include a slightly taller case in the future. Just another 5mm would make all the difference and wouldn't add too much bulk. I didn't try the shirt clip with T5, but I've used the same clip with my DN-1000, and it works just fine.


    The T5 are a half in-ear design, which allows them to include a large driver without compromising on comfort. I'll walk through the various design and ergonomic features of the T5 in pictorial format below.
    Here's an view of the T5's inner face. 

    It's a nice all-metal design. My only comfort concern can be seen in this picture. The seam where the front and back housing meet, while not overtly sharp, does tend to end up digging into my ears a bit during long listening sessions. It doesn't bother me during shorter listening sessions and is really only an issue during longer sessions. It's not a major issue, but I thought I'd mention it. My thought is that it digs in due to the heavier housings, as this wasn't an issue with the EX1. Vivian did let me know that I'll be receiving an additional accessory to make the T5 even more comfortable. It should arrive soon, and I'll update this review as needed with pics and my thoughts on the new accessory.
    TITAN + Ear Stabilizers

    So here's the mysterious "comfort accessory". They're soft silicone ear stabilizers, and they work a treat! As mentioned above, I found the newer TITANs to dig into my ears after a while. With the ear stabilizers in place, this was alleviated and I could wear them comfortably for extended periods. And not only do they work for the TITAN 3 & TITAN 5, they've also been confirmed to work with TITAN 1 with no vent hole blockage. So if you're an interested TITAN 1 owner, contact DUNU and let them know!
    T5 vs. EX1

    Those of you familiar with the T1 (or EX1) are looking at that picture, thinking where did all the vent holes go? Yup, Dunu eliminated most of the vent holes with the T5, and it's definitely noticeable in the soundstage department. While T5 has a nice (if conventional) soundstage, it lacks the open, airy sound that made the originals really stand out from the crowd. A couple more things I'd like to point out in the picture above are the brushed metal inner housing and color coding on the original. I'd love it if the entire housing was brushed metal. I much prefer the more subdued, less reflective aesthetics of brushed metal. I'd also love to see the color coding carried over to the T5 but with less candy-like colors - a nice dark red for right and black for left would be classy and useful, since the L/R identifiers are very low contrast. 
    Detachable cables

    Dunu designed the T5 with detachable cables. This means you don't need to worry so much about them shorting out, since Dunu will offer replacements (and compatible upgrade cables designed for their new hybrids). It also means the housing and strain reliefs needed to be bigger to accommodate the connectors and caused a 33% weight increase over the originals. As mentioned above, this did lead to  some discomfort issues for me over time, but I'm hoping Dunu's new accessory will help abate that issue. A bonus is that you can now wear them over ear without inverting channels. Since they're a chiral / handed / sided design, you just need to swap L/R channels if you want to wear them over ear. Incidentally, the connectors are very similar to VSONIC's VSD series connectors. I tried to swap them, but they didn't quite fit and I didn't want to force them. Dunu's implementation is much better in my opinion, being quite easy to remove and connect whereas VSONIC's connectors often got stuck and had many reports of cutting out over time. I've been listening to the T5 for quite a while now and have had absolutely no issues with the connectors. I'm looking forward to what Dunu's upgrade cables bring to the table.   
    To illustrate the difference size, here are some pictures. Fiio EX1 on top. T3 & T5 on bottom.

    Y-splitter and chin slider

    3.5mm L-plug

    Dunu's awesome cable management feature. Wish all my IEM had this!

    Here's what T5 look like worn down vs. over ear. 
    FullSizeRender-7.jpg FullSizeRender-8.jpg
    While they're designed to be worn down, they can be worn over ear fairly easily - although I'd again reiterate that the original's smaller strain reliefs made over ear wear even more comfortable.
    To sum up: I like the overall design / build but question the need for detachable cables. It seems IEM manufacturers caught detachable cable fever recently. Quite honestly, I'd take the smaller housing and strain reliefs and associated lighter weight of the original any day. EX1 disappeared in my ears much better than the new design. That said, I'm sure the detachable cable will be attractive to many prospective buyers who've also caught detachable cable fever. Beyond that, the vent hole redesign leaves me wondering what T5's tuning would sound like with the open, airy soundstage of the originals, which I suspect leaving in the numerous vent holes would've retained. Perhaps in the next iteration...
    I'm going to keep this section simple. There are more reviews coming soon. So if this isn't detailed enough or doesn't answer all your questions, just hold on and I'm sure one of those will answer your questions. You can always hit up the TITAN thread, where those of us who've gotten early access have been describing their experience. In particular, I'd suggest you start on page 150 with this post (LINK). There's some good discussion and FR graphs after that which will help you decide which TITAN is right for you.
    I mainly listen to experimental electronic and metal and use those genres to evaluate HP & IEM. During my time with the T5, I mainly used them with the Fiio X5, Shanling M3 DAP (LINK to review), and the newly released Shanling M2 I have in for testing and US tour (LINK to the M2 thread I started). 
    I know a lot of people are asking themselves how the new TITANs differentiate themselves from the original beyond the physical redesign. Reviews from people I trust (EXAMPLE) indicate that T1 and EX1 sound identical, so the EX1 will be my T1 surrogate for this review. As mentioned above, I'm going to keep it simple with some notes I took while listening to my Fiio X5.

    Fiio EX1
    It's the hardest to drive, has the worst isolation, but has the most unique sound. Regarding driving power, a comfortable listening level in a quiet rom was 35 on Low Gain out of my X5. That actually indicates to me that the X5 isn't actually hard to drive - just harder to drive than the other TITANs. To get an initial sense of isolation, I snapped my fingers by my ears while music was playing. The snaps were dulled but still clearly audible. Later I listened to them while walking in my neighborhood, and while they were definitely less isolating than my other IEM it wasn't night and day. It certainly wasn't egregious, and I clearly had a better sense of environmental awareness. Soundstage was open and airy for an IEM at any price point. I was quite impressed with the holographic sound. It actually reminded me a bit of my HiFiMan HE400 in this respect.  Not the same mind you but reminiscent nonetheless. The basic sound signature is a u-curve. Bass is relatively flat with just enough mid-bass emphasis to add a bit of punch - definitely neither weak nor boomy. Mids are neutral and clear but are a bit lacking in sweetness and emotion. The upper end is a bit edgy but didn't verge into sibilant territory for me and is something I could easily be happy with. 
    Quite honestly, the EX1 exceeded my expectations, pushing a lot of the right buttons for me. Soundstage was fantastic, providing a very holographic listening experience. Bass was deep enough for a satisfying listen with electronic music but also fast enough to keep up with the rapid fire kick drums oft employed in metal music. Mids were definitely the weak point but were present enough not to call EX1 recessed. They're the aspect of EX1 most ripe for improvement. While the upper end was a touch harsh, it wasn't as aggressive as I was expecting and provided a good level of detail without veering into fatiguing territory. I see what the hype was about now. EX1 sounds nice!
    Ok, now we have our baseline. How do the new TITANs compare?

    Dunu TITAN 3
    T3 are the easiest to drive of the bunch. To get a comparable volume, I was able to turn my X5's volume down to 28 while listening in a quiet room. Isolation is on par with typical dynamic IEM. I could barely hear my fingers snapping when music was playing and environmental noise in my neighborhood was mostly blocked. Soundstage is much more conventional. Gone is the original's very open, airy almost holographic sound. T3's sound signature is just on the warm side of neutral. Bass sounds similar to the EX1's but a bit flatter. Nonetheless, it was still satisfying with a wide range of music. The key difference is the mids, which are more present vs. EX1. Whereas the EX1's mids were neutral, the T3 brings them forward - especially the upper mids. This makes female vocals pop. Those of you who know me know I'm a big Bjork fan and routinely use her Biophila album when testing new IEM. T3 were hands-down the best of the TITANs for bringing out the best in Bjork's voice. EX1 and T5 were still satisfying but failed to convey the same emotional presence the T3 did. Similar to the low end, the T3's upper end sounds similar to EX1 but takes the edge off. If you thought the originals were a bit on the harsh side, T3 should solve that issue for you.
    Dunu TITAN 5
    T5 are just a bit harder to drive than T3. To get a comparable volume, I had to turn my X5's volume up to 30 while listening in a quiet room. Isolation is identical to T3, so on par with typical dynamic IEM. Soundstage is still quite conventional, but I found the soundstage larger vs. T3. And just like the T3, you'll be missing the original's open, airy sound. T5's sound signature is a mild v-shape. Bass is the star of the show. It's more prominent than the other TITANs but is well-done - not loose or boomy. The mids are neutral and remind me of the EX1, whereas the upper end is quite reminiscent of the T3. Revisiting Bjork for a minute - where T3 really made Bjork's voice pop, the T5 made the bass drops more satisfying. But when switching to The Eagles, I found the T5's bass made the bass guitar more prominent than I was used to. EX1 and T3 feel truer to the music in this respect.
    1. T3 takes the general EX1 sound, adds in more prominent mids (especially upper mids), more refined upper end, and better isolation. It also brings a much more conventional soundstage.
    2. T5 takes the general EX1 sound but adds in more prominent bass, more refined upper end, and better isolation. It also brings a much more conventional soundstage but not as much of a compromise as T3.
    So what do I think of the TITAN lineup? Well, first of all I'm going to admit that I'm saddened that it took me this long to hear the originals. The EX1 are a superb IEM. Sure they've got a few flaws, but their open, airy soundstage and well-balanced sound signature more than make up for the small amount of harshness up top. They're also a very comfortable IEM. Hearing the T3 & T5 makes me confident in saying that Dunu's made a good case for product differentiation in the TITAN lineup. I could see people gravitating towards the different models based on their sound signature, soundstage, and isolation preferences. Personally, I gravitate towards EX1 for it's open, airy sound and T3 for improving the original's sound with improved mids. While I like the T5 and think it's a solid IEM, it just doesn't call out to me like the others do.
    What did I feel could be improved? I'd love to see what the T3 & T5 would sound like with the same tuning but additional vent holes to give them a more open soundstage - even at the expense of decreased isolation. I also question the validity of using detachable cables, which adds complexity, added weight, and larger housings. This resulted in he new TITANs being less comfortable than the originals for me. I'd also like to see a thicker carry case, as the larger housing make it difficult to close which wasn't a problem with the EX1. Beyond that, I think all three TITANs are great IEM. It's just a matter of choosing which suits your needs.
    EDIT: As noted above, the new ear stabilizer work very well to alleviate the minor comfort issues I was experiencing. Good job being proactive, DUNU!
    I'd like to give a hearty thanks to Vivian at Dunu for giving me the chance to review and tour the TITAN 3 and TITAN 5. I really enjoyed my time with them. Be on the lookout for a US & Canada tour opportunity!
    1. View previous replies...
    2. onraid
      thx great
      onraid, Nov 25, 2015
    3. harry501501
      Hi, I love the EX1s, although it's night and day, would you be able to suggest an over ear or on ear with a similar sound signature. The Titan1s/Ex1s are just so musical and fun. I've been trying to replicate that sound to no avail lol.
      I've tried and failed with...
      Senn HD25iis
      AKG K550s
      Sony MDRs
      Grados (awful headphone, truly awful).
      Senn Hd205s.
      harry501501, Apr 9, 2016
    4. harry501501
      Sorry, i hit post to soon. I'm thinking of trying DT990, M50x, Philips F X1 or X2.
      I tried Senn Momentum 2.0 On Ear too. They sounded great, but again a little too neutral. Everything sounds boring after listening to the Titan 1s.
      Too jump in on this review, I've had both Titan X1 and Fiio EX1. Both are the exact same, but there is a £40 price difference. i ordered them both and sent the Titan 1s back and kept the fiios
      harry501501, Apr 9, 2016